Mumbai, Sept. 19: Priya Tendulkar, who became famous on the small screen as the crusading Rajni, died today at her residence. She was 48.
She died of a heart attack, though she was diagnosed with cancer and was being treated for it, family sources said. Priya was the daughter of playwright Vijay Tendulkar.
After Rajni, Priya again shot to popularity with The Priya Tendulkar Show. The talk show, which took up social issues, caught the attention of viewers because Priya did not mince words.
Director Basu Chatterjee, whose Rajni made Priya a household name, said she was in real life what she was on screen — a courageous woman.
“This is shocking news. Priya was a fighter. She was not afraid to air her views or be politically incorrect,” said film director Sai Paranjpe. “I am really sad for Vijay Tendulkar, who also lost his son last year.”
Priya was a multi-faceted person. She acted in a number of Marathi plays and in films, too, beginning with Shyam Benegal’s Ankur (1973).
She wrote a prize-winning collection of stories in Marathi and wrote a column for an eveninger.
One of her last and most endearing roles on the small screen was that of the “dead” first wife in the serial Hum Paanch, who appears as a photograph. She was married to actor Karan Razdan, who played her husband in Rajni, but they separated.